Zenfolio | Leigh MILLER | Zoom H5 as an Audio Interface | WORKFLOW

Zoom H5 as an Audio Interface | WORKFLOW

July 25, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca see more of my work on instagram @leighmillerofficial

I've been using Zoom records for years to capture audio from MICs, instruments and generally for my sound design. I record all kinds of audio for later video work as sound effects or just filler...background noise. The one feature I've never used before...and it's not even marketed very loudly by "Zoom" is the AUDIO INTERFACE FUNCTION. 

My brain is kinda strange...I lock away all kinds of seemingly unimportant information and months/years later when I need to solve a problem that info will just pop back into focus. Luckily for me, I recalled reading in the Zoom product manual about this feature and I investigated it more extensively when I got back home. It saved the shoot that day since we were in the middle of the desert with zero audio/video retail stores. To my surprise, the Zoom H% is possibly the best interface I've ever used with a super low noise floor, BUS power via USB and completely portable.

I Break Stuff....

Tough doesn't even scratch the surface of how I handle my equipment. I pretty much buy the most rugged gear I can get to mitigate that...and insurance for whenever it happens. Also I'm a big believer in the old saying "Two is One, and One is None". That means always have a backup for your main gear just in case the inevitable happens one day. Except I didn't follow that with a crucial piece of equipment that I never gave a second thought to...until it broke.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca see more of my work on instagram @leighmillerofficial Neoteck DAC

2000 miles away from home, one of the crew stepped on my DAC (Digital Audio Converter) which was tucked underneath a makeshift desk and destroyed it. In case you don't know what a DAC is...basically it takes the digital signal (in my case) generated by a computer and turns it into an analog signal that my headphones or studio monitors can use.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca see more of my work on instagram @leighmillerofficial You can always (most cases) plug the headphones or speakers directly into the computer but the sound quality is miles away from adequate for critical "sound" work. The pre-amps in computers are typically crap with a fait bit of interference/noise/colour. Having a DAC allows me to get the cleanest representation of sound while I'm working. I want the flattest/cleanest sound as my base point for editing purposes later.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca see more of my work on instagram @leighmillerofficial DAC's are not created equal and you can spend the equivalent of rent/mortgage payments on one so I suggest scaling your purchase to what you actually need now or near future. They don't get updated much year-to-year. Mine cost me around $20 (Neoteck). I liked it so much that I bought another for my entertainment system in the condo. The AppleTV, Cable and a few other gadgets run into the TV which feeds to the DAC via an optical cable which then connects to the speakers. It's really a bare-bones model maxing out at 96kHz and only supports 2.1 audio...no Dolby or surround sound but it's 24 bit and built really well for the price. The sound quality is much better that what the TV or other components offer alone.


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